Dear Session 4 Campers...

By Green River Preserve

Dear Session 4 Campers,

It’s funny how two weeks can fly by in the blink of an eye. Seems like just a few moments ago, I was photographing the Session 3 Closing Ceremonies. Now, tonight, I will be capturing the last Upper Council Fire and Wishboat Ceremony of Session 4. Every day here is a flash of brilliant light, which shines deep down in the heart of the souls who experience the wonder. From “Win-de-ya-ho” in the mornings, to “Sisters, Brothers” at the end of day and everything that culminates in between, therein is embodied the best of the human spirit. There are moments when you feel more alive, here, than at any other time in your life. It’s not just a feeling understood by the staff, either. It reaches every camper in the small moments of laughter and joy. One of the first traditions of Green River Preserve is the Respect Circle, wherein we all make a bond—no—a promise from the core of our being that we will uphold the Woodcraft Laws and live a life of responsibility for our actions. You see it when a camper lends a helping hand to someone in need, whether it’s another camper or just another member of the community. It’s apparent when a camper does the right thing during an evening program, like Capture the Flag, by happily walking to “jail” when you’ve been tagged without initially thinking you were tagged. It’s the moment you’re not paying attention and you turn to see a camper with his or her hand up, waiting for a high-five, just looking to lift you up, for the simple purpose to be there and to let you know they are happy you exist.

There aren’t enough words that I could write to encapsulate the feeling of being here, among so many wonderful people. Astoundingly, y’all don’t even have to try. Don’t get me wrong; you try hard at everything you do. Whether it’s the climbing tower, or creative arts, mountain biking or backpacking for the first time, you give it all you have and more. What I mean is, you kids are everything this world needs, the moment you arrive. The smiles, without delay, occur at first sight. The respect for yourselves and everyone around you are already personality traits that exist within each of you, even before the Respect Circle. This place is so great because we take you wonderfully crafted individuals and instill the sense that each and every person in this community and elsewhere can make a difference, for the betterment of the planet and one another. We show you how you can be everything you want to be. But most of all, we guide you towards the realization that it’s okay to be exactly who you want to be and that all you have to do is reach out and grab life. Be a dreamer, be a doer. Do whatever it is that you want to do, with love and passion in your heart. With the fundamental knowledge to keep this planet healthy and thriving for the generations to come, you campers will depart tomorrow morning, ready to change the world.

Thanks for being so inspiring, with all of your brilliant ideas, your wonderment for what the world can be and for having the patience to allow me to photograph you all day, everyday.

Camera Guy/Cameraman/Photographer Dude/Brando/Bran/Brandon

Letter and Photos by Brandon S. Marshall